Weekend Thoughts

Kenny Roda from WKNR SportsTalk 850 will be writing a weekly blog on Cleveland Scores covering the sports world both locally and nationally. Check back often for his updates!

Buckeyes Dominate

Could Ohio State have been any better prepared for the Hawkeyes? I don’t think so. That’s a tribute to Jim Tressel and his coaching staff. They went into another hostile environment (remember Texas) and totally dominated the game with their running game, 5 wide receiver sets(who are you going to put the linebacker on) and a defense with 9 new starters that forced 4 more turnovers. Iowa was clueless. So much for that pink locker room at Kinneck Stadium having a psychological effect on opposing players.

The Buckeyes truly are college football’s best team right now. During a season that started with parody, they have beaten three top 25 teams in the first 5 weeks of the season (two on the road) and by an average score of 30 to 10 to separate themselves from everyone else. That’s domination!

Troy Smith proved once again the bigger the game the better he plays. Four more TD passes and no interceptions in the 38-17 win at Iowa. Smith is now 10-1 as a starter versus ranked teams. He’s my leader as far as the Heisman trophy race goes.

Last week it was Troy Smith who turned in a spectacular play against Penn St. because of his athletic ability and confidence. This week it was Anthony Gonzalez. His touchdown catch and run in the 3rd quarter was sheer brilliance. To have the confidence in your athletic ability to reverse field like he did is something that you can’t teach. You either have it or you don’t and Gonzo and Smith have IT!

While the fabulous catch and run by Gonzo will be remembered most in the win over the Hawkeyes, it’s the little things that can win you ball games too. Like fullback Stan White’s block on the Antonio Pittman’s 4 yard touchdown run. Or wide receiver Brian Hartline’s block on the Gonzo catch and run that wiped out two Iowa players. Or Brian Robiski’s and Gonzalez’s blocks on Pittman’s big run in the 2nd quarter. Fundamentals win you games, especially big games. Think Michigan……..Novemeber 18, 2006.

Wow, I’m surprised it took me that long to mention the Wolverines. They are playing very well right now and it’s looking more and more like this year’s meeting could be between two undefeated teams who will be playing for the the outright Big Ten Championship and the right to play for the National Championship.

One more thing on the Buckeyes. So much for the defense being the team’s weak point! With seniors Quinn Pitcock, David Patterson and Jay Richardson anchoring the defensive line, while getting some help from sophomore Vernon Gholston and James Laurinaitis emerging as the leader at linebacker, this “D” is forcing turnovers and gaining confidence week by week. It’s becoming a unit that the opposition now fears as opposed to looking forward to facing.

Browns Finally Get a “W”

While the Buckeyes totally dominated, the Browns didn’t, but still got their first win. It wasn’t pretty, in fact at times it was downright “FUGLY” and you know what that means. With three turnovers, a 21-3 halftime deficit and two huge running plays given up, if they hadn’t been playing the Raiders they would have gotten killed. But as they say in the NFL…a win is a win is a win is a win, and the Browns will take it.

So lets look at the good instead of Charlie Frye’s horrific pass late in the 4th quarter that was intercepted and could have cost the Browns the game for the 2nd week in a row. Here are some positive take aways:

Joe Jurevicius made his presence felt with a great touchdown grab and another 3rd down conversion catch.

Kellen Winslow continues to back up his words with another touchdown grab and a HUGE 4th down catch, that was indeed the play of the game.

Joshua Cribbs and Dennis Northcutt played big roles in the 24-21 win with three enormous returns to set up the offense in great field position.

Rookie number #1 pick Kamerion Wimbley picked up two more sacks.

Orpheus Roye made a huge 4th down stop late in the game that kept Oakland from either tying the game or possibly taking the lead.

Braylon Edwards has 6 more catches for 75 yards, but more importantly didn’t drop any balls. In fact the Browns as a team didn’t drop a single pass.

Reuben Droughns played hurt and still rushed for 100 yards on 25 carries and caught 2 balls for 24 more yards.

And Romeo Crennel deserves some credit for going for it twice in 4th down situations. He rolled the dice and won, and in turn it helped the Browns pick up a much needed 1st win of the season!

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